Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Snaphot {Canoe Version}

Ni Hao Y'all

Last year we thought to bring our canoe on the camping trip.  It was big hit with all the kids....big and little!  Even when two of the kids ended up in the freezing cold lake last year!  Here are the pics from this year's canoe excursions.  Seems like the perfect thing to do on a fall day at the lake!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


If you were paying attention last week then you remember that I alluded to {as in, pretty much told you to be on the look out for} a fundraising surprise!  Well today is your lucky day!  Mostly because I tried to do a camping update, but blogger {grrrrr} isn't letting me upload my pictures right now {grrrrrr}.  This post was ready! So without drawing this out any longer........{drumroll}

Thanks to a generous donation of an iPad, we are going to have a giveaway.  JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!  Who's excited?  ME!  ME!

So here's the deal.  I have a brand spankin' new iPad {32GB with Wi-Fi} and you know you want it! Even if you have one, your kid/husband/wife/mom wants it!  I want to give it away and I need to raise money to bring Asher home.

This is how it will work: {rules of the game}

The fundraiser starts today and ends at Midnight on November 20th {Claire's birthday!}.  The drawing for the giveaway will be November 21st and the winner will be notified via email that day!  What better way for our family to say thank you to everyone than by giving something away at the start of Thanksgiving week!  And the winner?  Will not even have to pay shipping and handling!

The suggested donation is $10 per entry, but you may donate any amount you choose and enter as many times as you like. You can donate through the Chip-in at the bottom of this post or at the top of the blog! I will email you with your number for the giveaway as soon as I can {within 24 hours}.  When you use the Chip-In button you don't need to do anything else {like leave a comment}.  If you would like to enter the giveaway without making a donation, please leave a comment on this blog post with your name, address and email address so I can contact you.  Please remember to include all your information or I will not be able to give you a number. 
Please feel free to share about this fundraiser on your own blog or facebook or twitter or whatever.  And if you want to leave a comment sharing your thoughts, prayers and wishes for Asher, we will print them and save them for his keepsake!

Thank you so much for those of you that are helping us raise money to bring our boy home.  We are grateful beyond the words to express it! 

For those of you that don't know, Asher was born in Tianjin, China in the summer of 2007.  He was found in a hospital in January of 2008.  Though he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, he is doing well now.  But needs a family.  A forever family!  He is decribed as being a cuddly boy that likes sunshine and TV!  Who doesn't love cuddling and sunshine with a side of TV?!?!  If you want to know how we found him, click here!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Look Who's 21!

Hint:  It's not the Asian!

What I wanna know is how did she go from the little peanut I met in early '92 to a college junior and who told her she could?

I threw together a small family {as if we are a small family!} dinner for a celebration earlier this week.
It is so nice having her so close during the school year!  No.  That is not red wine in our glasses!  Even though Lizzie was about to turn 21.  That is our family's way of showing something is a big deal.  We use sparkling juice! 

And this is quite possibly the ugliest cake EVER in the history of my cakes! I do not know what happened.  I made the same cake I always make for her birthday, Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pound Cake That Isn't A Pound Cake At All.  Yes, that is the name I gave it! Clearly Lizzie was impressed with my culinary prowess, too.  As evidenced by that expression on her face! 

The cake shortly after it emerged from the oven.  Yeah, it was that great! At this point, I did what any self-respecting pastry chef would do....if I were a self-respecting pastry chef....or even just a pastry chef.  I whipped up a batch of Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate icing and tried to hide the .....ummmmm.....imperfections. 

There was no point.

No one was fooled!

But, that's okay.  Lizzie said that God loves ugly cake too!

The cake was good, but being with Lizzie was GREAT!

We love you sooooo much and hope your year is spectacular!

Monday, October 18, 2010

In Control

Yesterday I stood in church and allowed myself to become overwhelmed thinking about the fundraising we are doing.  I'm not going to lie, this fundraising thing is way out of my comfort zone.  We didn't have to do a whole lot for our last adoption until the very end and then it was a big last minute push to get the money for our trip and Paul did all the talking.  I just sat in awe.  And applied for grants.  Which I am about to start doing again. 

A few weeks ago I hid in the house during most of the yard sale and let my sweet husband deal with the hordes of strangers that descended on our yard.  Of course, if it hadn't been for those hordes, we would not have seen God come through in such an amazing way and I have vowed to try to do better at the next one.  I will try to stay out in the thick of it rather than hide behind the mini-blinds to watch.  Oh, yes I did!  Me + Talking to strangers = hives, y'all.  Not pretty.  Who wants to see some poor unsuspecting lady walk up to ask me the price on a whatnot and then see said lady run screaming into the streets to escape whatever plague has obviously befallen me and riddled me with blotches of redness?  Okay, maybe that would be kinda funny to watch.  But seriously, folks.  Not good for sales, right? 

Anyway, the point is, I was becoming a little panicked in church yesterday, thinking of all the yard sales standing in between me and getting to Asher.  Forgetting, of course, the whole point is to see God glorified.  No one is concerned with whether or not this fundraising business fits into the box of things I'm comfortable with.  Nor should anyone be worried about that.  Because it isn't about me. If God wants us to ask for help, then who am I to say no thank you, I did not sign on for this? And I watched His blessings unfold on our yard as donations rolled in and rolled back out leaving behind over one thousand dollars.  Up until this sale, up until we sold stuff for God's purposes rather than our own,  our piddly yard sales have grossed no more than $300! 

So, as I'm standing church on Sunday, I'm thinking how many yard sales will I have to endure {see, it's all about me again}?  Are You, God,  really going to provide all that we need?  I sat down {music is over} and my son hands me an envelope with my name on it.  I looked at him questioning.  He said it was in his seat, so I opened the envelope and it has a check for $150......

"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" Matthew 8:23-27

It was just the nudge I needed to remind me of who is in control.  And, thank goodness it's not me! 

We had to postpone our next yard sale, which was originally planned for this past weekend.  There were too many conflicts.  It has been rescheduled for the first weekend in November. 

This weekend in our annual camping trip with several other homeschooling families.  This is real camping, not cabin stuff.  Well okay.  Real camping in the sense that we are going to be sleeping in our old pop-up camper.  I don't think I can do a tent anymore!  I guess I could if I had too.... Really, our pop-up is only a baby step up from a tent anyway.  It doesn't have a bathroom, we turn the entire thing into a giant bed, so there is no seating inside either and the heat/AC hasn't worked in years.  So basically, it's a tent on wheels!  But,that's okay.  We felt so blessed when some friends gave it to us and we still feel blessed just to have it so I don't have to sleep in a tent....without wheels...


When I get back from that trip I have a fundraising surprise for you!  A BIG surprise.

Oh, and since I didn't have any pictures to go with this post, I have to post one of my Li'l Emperor!  'Cause who could get tired of looking at that cuteness?

I love this face he's making here!  Just want to squeeze him!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Snapshot {Mountain Views}

Ni Hao Y'all

We live on the coast.  Going to the beach is.....well, pretty much par for the course.  Now, going to the mountains?  That's a rare treat!  Something that might happen once a year for this gang.  But, we have been blessed with some relatives that built a cabin.  A CABIN, y'all.  And a wonderful one at that.  And they are selfless, these relative.  They offered to let us use the cabin.  Free of charge!  Just come.....and then go.   Oh! My!  So the real blessing, is having people like this to call family!

It was quite the treat. 


There was really indoor plumbing, but they have this to scare you when you drive up! 
What a hoot watching Lizzie's face when she saw this in the high beams the night we pulled up!

The rest of the trip looked a lot like this view from the back deck!

And this!

It was very relaxing and gave us a chance to wind down, as a family, from all the adoption stress.

 NOT that I would trade adoption stress for......ummmm, non-adoption stress?

Point is, we just needed a get-a-way.

The area we were in, Black Mountain is very quaint.

There is a nice town with cute shops and very little traffic.

We spent one whole day just meandering around the lazy town.

Enjoying the shops and food and KILWINS!
I know!
It has everything!

Even packs of goofy little kids......oh no, wait.....those are mine!

We window shopped.  I liked this window!

And there was a moose sighting!
Although.....I think we are a little too south for moose {meese? mooses?}.

Time was also spent in the cabin.
Because y'all, this cabin ROCKED!

We also enjoyed all that the Blue Ridge Parkway had to offer in the way of fall-ish sights!

So even if  our summers are crammed full of crazy, we had some lazy days of fall!

And it was just what this family needed!